Attributive and Predicative Adjectives for intermediate learners

An attributive adjective is an adjective that appears before the noun or pronoun it describes. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.

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Attributive and Predicative Adjectives in the English Grammar

What Are Attributive and Predicative Adjectives?

Adjectives modify nouns in sentences. Based on their positions in statements, we divide them into two groups. Take a look at the list below:

  • Attributive Adjectives
  • Predicative Adjectives

Attributive Adjectives

When an adjective comes before a noun in a sentence, we call it an attributive adjective. Take a look at the following examples:

Samantha is a stylish woman.

The poisonous snake hissed at me.

As you can see, the adjective has come before the noun it is modifying.

Predicative Adjectives

In contrast to attributive adjectives, predicative adjectives come after the noun they are modifying in the sentence. These adjectives come after the linking verb. Study the following examples carefully:

That girl is tall.

His girlfriend was depressed after the occasion.

As you can see, the adjective has come after the noun and especially after the linking verb.

Warning!

Be careful that in some cases, the adjective comes immediately after the noun it is modifying. We call them 'postpositive adjectives'. They mostly modify pronouns. Pay attention to the examples below:

Can you please suggest something useful right now?

The only hotel available is Chateau Saint-Martin.

As you can see, the adjective has come immediately after the noun/pronoun.

Tip!

It is useful to know that most adjectives can be both attributive and predictive in English. However, there are a few adjectives that can only be attributive such as 'live', 'elder', 'main.' Also, there are some that can only function as predictive adjectives such as 'afraid', 'alone', 'asleep.' Take a look at the following examples:

She is my elder sister.

(Not she is my sister elder...)

That girl is afraid to talk to you.

(Not that afraid girl...)

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Types of Adjectives

Adjectives are the most used words in sentences. There are several types of adjectives according to their uses. Let's get to know them!

Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are adjectives that modify a noun or pronoun by showing its quality. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Comparative adjectives are used to compare one noun to another noun. Superlative adjectives are used to compare three or more nouns.

Compound Adjectives

Compound adjectives are used as one single adjective. They function as the head of the sentence. In this lesson, we will learn all about them.

Proper Adjectives

Proper adjectives are commonly used in English. They tend to modify nouns and pronouns. in this lesson, we will learn more about them.

Participle Adjectives

Participle adjectives are the same form as participles with the same characteristics with adjectives.

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